Spring!?…and Bread for 3.4.2015

Today feels like spring. Spring with a lot of melting snow and mud! Spring with seedlings in the greenhouse, happy for the sunshine and warmth.
seedlings  Spring with greens in the high tunnel, ready to start growing again.spinach high tunnel
While we wait for these greens to be big and abundant enough to pick, we have bread and our preserved peppers to offer our lucky CSA members:

This week’s availability:
Pepper Jelly, Fermented Jalapenos, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday, March 4 at our farm or at Good Health Herbs.

**Anyone may order select goods from us, when available, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the NEW! Broadfork crew

**If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have first access to our harvest, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA seasonThough the main harvest season is still a couple months off, your investment now allows us the funds to start the season.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

CSA Sign Up! Buy a share of truly amazing vegetables.

“We are looking forward to another season of the best greens and veggies ever!”
“We love Broadfork Farm!” 
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“Yay! We have been missing our Broadfork veggies!”
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“Looking forward to another season of tasty veggies! Thank you for farming!”

These are the love notes that have been arriving in our mailbox from our dear CSA members. We are so grateful for this feedback, and sometimes we blush. Now it is time to share this information so that more people know how wonderful our vegetables are!
( If you have already purchased a 2015 CSA membership: Thank you!  We love you, are enormously thankful, and are working hard to make 2015 great. )
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Pictured here are various Farm Share CSA shares from 2014. We are enthusiastically inviting more people to join the Farm Share portion of our CSA. This is where community members invest in our farm ($525 for the 2015 summer season, May – September) and in exchange, we work our hardest to provide members with a diverse, bountiful, weekly share for 21 weeks, with an average anticipated value of $26 of produce per week, picked up on Wednesdays at our farm or in Church Hill.
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Why join our CSA?
:: Our vegetables are completely different than vegetables available from grocery stores. Taste them, and you will realize the difference. Children respond especially well to our produce – eating it because it tastes great! Taste correlates with nutrition…by choosing the tastiest vegetables, you are choosing the most nutritious.
:: Everything we sell is grown by us, on our farm in Chesterfield county. You are invited to public tours in the spring and fall so that you can learn how we grow food for maximum nutrition, taste, sustainability, and the health of all beings.
:: We are Certified Naturally Grown, ensuring you that we use only plant, animal, and mineral based inputs for the soil and plants. No synthetic/chemical fertilizer, pesticide, fungicide, or herbicide, nor any GMO products, are ever used on our farm.
:: Sourcing your vegetables from a local, Certified Naturally Grown farm like us is the best way to work toward community food security for future years. Most produce eaten in Virginia today is trucked here from California – not the securest, freshest, or tastiest option!
:: The majority of the food on our plates should be vegetables. We all know this! Make it a reality this season by committing to a share of weekly vegetables (or two shares, if your household is large enough). We help with recipe ideas.
CSA sign up dayFebruary 28 is National CSA Sign-up Day. The majority of our expenses take place January through March. Buy a share and help us grow. Learn more and sign up on our CSA page.

We love being vegetable farmers in this community. Thank you for trusting us with this responsibility and privilege. Please forward this email to anyone you think may benefit.

All the best,
Janet & Dan
Broadfork Farm Owners & Operators

P.S. Mark your calendars:
plant sale farm tour 2015-05(An earlier date for the purchase of cool-season plants is TBA.)

Love & Food…for 2.18.2015

We have to admit, we love Valentine’s Day. Our kids call it, appropriately, The Love Holiday. We don’t purchase anything to celebrate this holiday. We just spend the week surrounding it by focusing even-more-than-usual on love.
tunnel green salanova
We posted the above photo on Facebook and Instagram, proclaiming that we like our relationship with food to be up close and personal.
Focusing on love. How great is that? Not surprisingly, plenty of that focus revolves around food. We send out extra-strong love and thanks at the beginning of our meals for all the beings and forces that make our food possible. Love notes appear all over the place – the kitchen, the wash tubs for our greens, the seeding table in the greenhouse, the potting mix…Little red hearts cut out of paper seem to pop up out of nowhere.
tunnel salanova joren
This is a farm awash in children. Cut-out paper hearts give it away. Luckily, we love it that way.
tunnel spinach
Happy love week. We have more greens for you.

This week’s Harvest includes:

Chard, Garlic, Kale, Salad Mix, Spinach, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

2015 Market Share CSA Members:
 Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday, Feb 18 at our farm or at Good Health Herbs.

**Anyone may order select goods from us, when available, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have first access to our harvest, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA seasonThough the main harvest season is still a couple months off, your investment now allows us the funds to start the season.

**We are accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

Greens & Things for… 2.11.2015

At first glance, the wintertime landscape in our tunnels is quite boring.
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Unveiled, things look much more interesting.
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Move in for a closer look, and things get down right delicious looking.
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salanova head red
Greens for salads or cooking. Turnips for salads or cooking. Garlic to spice things up. Bread to serve alongside. All of these are available for our cherished Market Share CSA members to order for pick up next Wednesday, Feb 11. (We know…this is strange email timing to order for next Wednesday. We are just so excited to tell you what is available…)
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Select items are available for purchase by anyone via Fall Line Farms, our area’s online Farmers’ Market, with many convenient pick up locations around the metro Richmond area and beyond.

Other winter farm activities currently include: Celebrating the completion of our new walk-in cooler, perfectly situated in our new barn; Studying intricate details of compost techniques and chemistry; Building what we are pretty sure is the biggest worm bin in Chesterfield County (see below); Starting seeds for our spring and summer crops, as well as for transplants that will be available for our gardening customers to purchase; settling on dates for our Spring Plant Sale & Farm Tour. Stay tuned for date announcements in our next email!
019This week’s Harvest includes:

Garlic, Sweet Hakurei Turnips, Salad Mix, Spinach, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before pick up. Thank you for ordering!

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have first access to our harvest, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA seasonThough the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to start the season.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday, Feb 11 at our farm or at Good Health Herbs.

**Anyone may order select goods from us, when available, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month membership.

Mid Winter Turnips & Chili…for 1.28.2015

We’ve been quiet recently, hunkered down into our winter life. turnip
Vegetables in the high tunnel are going to continue, intermittently, to be available to CSA members, on Fall Line Farms (Richmond’s online farmers market with many convenient pick up spots around the area), and at Union Market in Church Hill. We harvest what we can, when we can, and then wait for the plants to grow some more until they can be harvested again. (We will return to the South of the James Farmers Market in March sometime, and the Brandermill Market in May when it re-opens.)
high tunnel salad
(Above: Lettuce growing in our high tunnel this week.) All the beds in the fields are in their dormant stage – we won’t be harvesting anything from the fields until after new plantings this spring.

So what’s a farm to do? Receive seed orders!
johnnys
Our most heartfelt appreciation goes out to all the amazing CSA members who have already paid into our farm for the 2015 season. This box of seeds comes with a hefty price tag, and we are able to buy seeds without borrowing money thanks to you! Our big soil amendment and supplies orders come in during the next couple of weeks. Again, the investment of CSA members has made that possible. We are so grateful for your prioritizing our work (and your food!) and for your faith in us as growers of your food.

Construction on the barn has continued at a frenetic pace. This week we have gotten our new walk in cooler framed and mostly insulated. We will be improving our wash-and-pack area and soon fully using the barn to wash, pack, and store your veggies. Next we will be putting up walls around the pick-up area of the barn, pretty it up, and have it ready for customers to pick up their vegetables this spring!

Winter allows us the time to get out more in the evenings and weekends, as the work days are shorter. We have been loving our community circles (led by our children’s activities, of course): acoustic music at the library, the children’s museum, swimming in the indoor pool, and a chili cook-off at our First UU Church.
chili contest
The theme for our chili entry was, not surprisingly, Local Organic Chili where all ingredients except the beans was from local, organic farms. Of the 16 entrants, ours was voted 1st place. We think excellent ingredients were the key! It was great, delicious fun, and now we have a 3 foot tall trophy in our house with a golden pot of chili on the top. (Not kidding. It is huge and flashy. Joren wants it to forever live on his dresser.) Perhaps it might find a home in the barn, where all customers can gaze on it. (Shhh…don’t tell Joren.)

This week’s Harvest includes:

Garlic, Sweet Hakurei Turnips, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before pick up. Thank you for ordering!

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA memberships have now ended. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA seasonThough the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to purchase expensive start up supplies for 2015: fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, irrigation supplies, framing and insulation for our new walk-in cooler, etc.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Wednesday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs.

**Anyone may order select goods from us, when available, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month membership.

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

Winter Is…plus harvest for 1.10.2015

Business item first: After this weekend, for the rest of the foreseeable winter we are going to take orders from CSA members for pick up on Wednesdays – not Saturdays. (We will still deliver CSA orders to the Byrd Park area on Sundays.) Also, items that we have in quantities greater than our CSA members desire we are selling through Fall Line Farms – Richmond’s online farmers’ market. Pick up for this market is on Thursdays in many locations around metro Richmond. If you aren’t able to be a part of our CSA, we highly recommend that you shop through Fall Line. There is a membership fee, but you can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month membership. Check it out! high tunnel yukina asian spinach Now for our reflections on winter: Winter is harvesting yesterday anything that would not survive the deep cold of this morning. (Everything in our high tunnel did fine, but the greens that were still growing out in the field had to be cut.)

Winter is harvesting greens in the afternoon (as opposed to in the morning, as one must do in the warmer months) to avoid high nitrate levels found in winter greens in the morning hours.
microgreens

Winter is…
…realizing our heater in the walk-in “cooler” isn’t warm enough to keep it above freezing when it is 10 degrees outside.

…relaxed mornings around our wood stove, with no hurry to get outside and start work.
tunnel salad mix
…soaking up the afternoon sun, rather than shielding it.

…really, really cherishing hot bread, straight from the oven.
tunnel salad
…finishing up work by 5:00, time for an early and relaxed dinner as a family, and time for music and board games before bed.

…time for construction projects and fixing things. Pictured here is the new framing in the part of the barn that will be our new pick-up area/farm stand, plus the shadows of Janet and the new baby.
barn framing shadow
Winter is thanking you all for accepting this email delivered late, as we needed to wait until the highest temperature of the day to see how greens in the high tunnel fared. Stay warm, everyone!

This week’s Harvest includes:

Garlic, Hearty Mix, Microgreens, Radishes (red), Salad Mix, Spinach (asian), Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before pick up. Thank you for ordering!

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA memberships have now ended. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Though the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to purchase expensive start up supplies for 2015: fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, irrigation supplies, framing and insulation for our new walk-in cooler, etc.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs, or on Sunday at the UU Church, adjacent to Byrd Park (details on the ordering page).

**Anyone may order select goods from us through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month membership.

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!

 

A Farmer Story for the New Year…orders for 1.3.2015

A story for you today from our “Farmers about the town” series. Last week during our weekly trip to the grocery store, a lovely young man wheeled our purchases out to the parking lot for us.
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Sometimes people think that because we farm vegetables we never need to go to the grocery store. Rest assured, we don’t provide for all of our needs here. We don’t purchase vegetables, meat, milk, coffee, eggs, or yogurt at the grocery. But we sure do need flour, beans, butter, coffee filters, dishwasher detergent, chocolate chips…
barn 2015.1.1
The usual grocery trip these days is Janet with the four children, and so compassion usually runs high during these trips: people make way for us in the aisles. We receive extra help in the check out line. We have caring people help load our bags in the car. This brings us to the story of note: While approaching our vehicle, our grocery bagger noted the references to farms and organic farming on the back of our minivan. (We are a bit shameless in our love for organic farming bumper stickers and magnets.) He asked “What’s with the farm stuff?” I, Janet, replied proudly: “We operate a vegetable farm! We make our living growing vegetables!” I admit that I get excited to share with young people that it is indeed a professional possibility to farm vegetables. Usually these youth respond with amazement or curiosity, even if only to be polite to me. But this young fellow surprised me. He, being the compassionate one, providing assistance to this mother who was strapped with children and grocery bags, immediately began a conciliatory response. He said “Hey, that’s okay. Everybody’s gotta have a job doing something. So your a farmer for now. Look at me – I’m bagging groceries.”
barn front 2015.1.1
With that, he gave me a reassuring smile, certain that my future held brighter things than vegetable farming. I thanked him deeply for his help with the cart and the grocery bags and the back gate of the minivan that is hard to reach and close while holding two children. I returned his reassuring smile. He ambled away, whistling while pushing the carts back into the storefront.
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Indeed, he’s not a lifelong grocery bagger at heart. I’m sure he will pursue his dreams beyond the grocery store. I refrained from telling him that our farm is the result of many years of planning, sacrifice, and determination. I did not explain to him how it is the dream we have pursued. He assumed farming is something we were settling for – perhaps forced into out of a lack of other options. I did not reveal that growing organic vegetables is our passion and most rewarding professional pursuit. It really wasn’t the right moment for me to pontificate on all that. But I just might seek him out over the next couple of months and invite him to our spring farm tour. I’m hopelessly optimistic that we can convince everyone of the worth and beauty of what we do during a farm tour.
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This week’s Harvest includes:

Carrots, Garlic, Microgreens, Salad Mix, Pepper Jelly, and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

**One change for 2015: CSA Ordering through our website will close at 8:00 am on the day before delivery. Thank you for ordering!

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew

**Remember: 2014 Market Share CSA memberships have now ended. Pre-ordering of our harvest and bread is exclusively for Market Share CSA members. If you wish to invest in our farm, order from us in 2015, and have access to our harvest before we start attending the farmers’ markets next year, please Sign up for our 2015 CSA season! Though the main harvest season is still a way off, your investment now allows us the funds to purchase expensive start up supplies for 2015: fertilizers, soil amendments, seed, irrigation supplies, framing and insulation for our new walk-in cooler, etc.

**We are now accepting applications for 2015 Internship positions.
 Please share the details in this link with anyone you think may be interested.

(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.)

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm or at Good Health Herbs, or on Sunday at the UU Church, adjacent to Byrd Park (details on the ordering page).

Our favorite farming conference is approaching! The annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 30-31, which includes a session in which Dan is presenting about our grafted tomato trials.Tickets and more info here. We hope you will join us!